Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Mistaken by Karen Barnett

175Since booze and prohibition have made criminals out of every man in her world, Laurie Burke resolves to find at least one honorable man to fill her life. Convinced that handsome newcomer Daniel Shepherd is connected with her brother’s rum-running gang, Laurie quickly scratches his name off her list. Daniel has mixed feelings about returning to the dirty mill town of his youth, but grudgingly agrees to manage his grandfather’s drug store until a replacement can be found. The moment he meets Laurie on the windswept bluff overlooking the beach, he knows that if he can earn her love, he might have a reason to stay. But when Laurie pushes him away–for none other than Federal Agent Samuel Brown–Daniel wonders if Laurie really is the upstanding woman he thought her to be. The Strait of Juan de Fuca, just off the beaches of Port Angeles, Washington, was treacherous water for reckless rum-runners—and the agents who tried to catch them. So when she realizes her brother is in danger, romance is the last thing on Laurie’s mind. Yet the people she believes she can trust, may not be so honorable after all.

What I Loved: What a ride!!!! I absolutely LOVED this novel! Let me try to put into words why . . . I think one of the things that quickly jumped out at me was the setting. While the prohibition setting isn’t “new,” it’s not a common setting used in Christian Fiction. Not as common as the Wild West anyways. So finding a  well-written book in this setting is always a treat. It is the small details of the era and nature walks the characters went on that beautifully builds on the setting, making it come to life.
The characters were complex and realistic, but the plot is where this novel really shines!! It wasn’t until I had picked up Mistaken that I realized I hadn’t had my hands on a novel with a truly sticky plot in quite some time. It seemed like the characters were constantly being backed into this impossible corner where either direction spelled disaster.
The passion level on this one was a slightly more than expected. It stayed well within the bounds of Christian fiction, but for those who don’t appreciate romance or passion, they’d like to know that there was a character who had a habit of putting his hands on the lady. Again, it never went too far but the character was meant to make you uncomfortable, and he did just that.

Rating and Recommendation: Mistaken is an older novel by Karen Barnett, but I highly recommend Christian Historical fans to go back and pick this one up if they haven’t already. I’m giving it 5 stars.

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